U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, a national leader in agriculture, is now the top Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
Roberts goes into the history books as the first member of Congress to serve as both chairman and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
"I am honored to continue working on behalf of America's farmers and ranchers in this new position," Roberts said. "Our nation is blessed with the safest, highest-quality and most affordable food and fiber in the world. I look forward to working with Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. We have a history of working together on the Agriculture and Finance Committees, and I know we will make a great team for American Agriculture.
Roberts' priorities for the 112th Congress will focus on maintaining the production agriculture safety net, expanding trade opportunities for farmers and ranchers, conducting oversight of regulations that threaten the competitiveness of America's farmers, and maintaining the security and science based sustainability of food and agriculture sectors.
The last Kansan to hold the ranking member post of the Senate Agriculture Committee was U.S. Senator Robert J. Dole (R-KS) who 32 years ago served in that capacity from 1975-78. Prior to that, U.S. Senator Arthur Capper (R-KS) served as ranking member from 1943 to 1947, prior to chairing the Committee from 1947 to 1949. Senator James Lane (R-KS) was the first Kansan to serve as chairman in 1863.
In addition to the top Republican spot on Agriculture, Roberts will continue as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, the Rules Committee and the Ethics Committee.
Watch for your March Kansas Farmer for an interview with Roberts about his new post and his priorities in the new Congress.